Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Present 2013: Home & Garden Tour

(Thank you to Dwellings  and A Stroll Thru Life for featuring this post!)
I've spent the last week or so leisurely decorating my home and garden for Christmas and, although I'd be considered late to the party in terms of bloggers' home tours, you're nonetheless cordially invited to stop in for my Christmas Present 2013 Home and Garden tour.  If you'd like to re-visit my Christmas Past (2012) Home & Garden Tour, you will find it here.

I switched things up a bit this year, mostly through use of different textiles and tabletop vignettes.  This post is heavy on visuals, light on most descriptions, but all of the photos are new.
I was able to catch the house in the glow of the blue light of dusk this year.
Although I wasn't able to capture a good view of the windows on the side of the house, there is a candle in every window - all 22 of them.  This year, we replaced the electric plug-in, on/off switch candles with Frontgate's dream candles - battery operated, built-in timer with life-like flickering flames.  They are all synchronized perfectly, and I'm very happy not to have turn switches on/off  every evening.
If you've followed me long enough, you know the only kind of goose I prefer is a dead (or wooden) one. This (wooden) one is in my entry.
Our living room is used very little, so the decor touches are understated - an Amish-made cloth angel sits on the chair, and the ceramic tree and Santa are vintage.  Red is used as an accent.
The garland on the stairway was from Michael's ten years ago.  I connected seven 6-foot swags to trim the staircase.  I made the bows that trim the rail, and also wrapped ribbon around the garland in one, continuous motion.  I am very meticulous in my holiday decor organization, so much so I photographed and wrote instructions for the method of trimming this staircase so I would not have to re-invent the wheel each year - it saves me a lot of time and effort.  Packing meticulously has kept the bows in really good shape from year to year also.
Our dining room is also somewhat understated in Christmas decor, more in natural tones.  I will add linens as it gets closer to Christmas.  Almost everything in the room (other than the dining room table, chairs and dhurrie rug) have been collected since Mr. P. and I joined households.
The bar cart, hotel silver and various other items are all vintage finds.
I love this print.  I purchased it from a retired Presbyterian minister's estate.  It is Solario's "Madonna with the Green Cushion".
I found this little vintage picture postcard from a local Etsy dealer - perfect for wintertime display.   It sits on a fork-turned-easel on the table beside the wingback chair.
This corner is totally collected over time from auctions, estate sales and from other collectors.
The table's centerpiece, and the general decor theme in the dining room, is orbs.  This platter, situated directly under the chandelier which has vintage glass balls dangling from it, holds a preserved boxwood orb, along with fragrant clove balls and silver metal balls.

Our tree is, once again, situated in our TV room gathering space (do you like how Google animated it for me with the glowing lights?!  They made the snow fall on the landscape photo later in this post too.  I love it!).  The room is long, and this is just one end of the space (one chair removed for the tree placement).  I found the Pendleton blanket at a recent estate sale, so it is this year's base on the floor.  The tree takes me a very long time to decorate, somewhere near 8 hours, as most of our decorations are very small.  So many memories each time they'e unwrapped and placed......
The candy cane you see in the center of this photo is by Wallace, a hostess gift each year from one of my sisters and brother-in-law, who have been collecting the candy canes since their first issue in 1981.  We have one for every year we've been married (ten).
Travel ornaments are another collected favorite group.  These are from various beaches we've been to.  Notice the gecko with the scarf at the top and the blue stingray on the left? :)
These carolers were purchased at one of our city's annual arts and crafts fair - they're made from gourds!
The JOY banner is vintage, from a local, long-time collaborative quilting group in our area.
You may not have noticed, but the primitive rocking horse DID come home with me.  He was in our booth at the antique mall (I mentioned him here), and he needed rescued.  He sits on one side of the fireplace.  Mr. P. keeps saying he's not sure what the horse has to do with Christmas.  Obviously, he nor any of his siblings ever received one as a child for Christmas!
We don't have a mantel, but flanking the other side of the fireplace is the basket of birch logs from our fallen trees, tricked out with lights, cones and (faux) bird on a (faux) branch.
 Coffee table on other end of the long gathering space, sporting a snowman family.
Vintage papier mache carolers - an estate sale find.
The sunroom is another gathering space, with table and chairs, as well as a mix of furniture for accommodating crowds (aka my family).
The wooden bowl is full of Native American flint artifacts culled from our landscape when we renovated in 2004. They date from the Paleo-Indian time period, approximately 10,000 BC! 
Table centerpiece is naturally collected cones, deer antlers and tree branches.
An antique set of scales in the sunroom (you can catch a glimpse of it in the background of the photo just above this one) holds a bird's nest and cast metal bird on one side; the other side (pictured) holds a vintage Christmas postcard, broken angel wings, rosaries and a couple of the flint artifacts.
Another group of fallen birch logs, mixed with pinecones and lights in an olive sieve.
My favorite spot in the house, year-round, is this corner of the sunroom where my chaise lounge is situated.
The laundry / mud / powder room got decked out a little for the holiday too.  The orchard ladder was initially purchased for resale, later brought home, first to the sunroom, now here.  It's holding European grain sacks and hand towels, along with the boxwood wreaths.

These louvered shutters hide the fuse box in the laundry room, on the wall between the vanity and the appliances.  In my 2012 tour I showed my little display of scrabble whimsy on top of the appliances.
The sink holds this little resin trio who, when the candles are lit, appear to be warming themselves by drum fires.  And speaking of whimsy, does this plaque not say it all?  I have it hanging in the laundry room, where every guest who uses the loo will see it.

Just a few more things to show you upstairs before we get to the garden.
This antique cedar chest sits right outside the guest bedroom.  It's one of several I have in which I keep some of my vintage textiles and pillows.  The set of antique red books are simply a color-coordinated display for the season, placed alongside the boxwood in the vintage loving cup.
For my bath, I purchased this wreath from a local crafter because I loved the natural burlap, but also because I loved the tag at the center.  It says "Coming Home".

Another of my holiday rugs, which I seem to have collected over the years, at the foot of my desk.
Vintage tree that was my husband's prior to my coming on the scene and taking over everything Christmas.
Vintage cherub night light glows in the guest room, between a boxwood and vintage purse.

In the garden over the past week or so, we've had everything from snow to ice to 70 degrees.  These next pictures reflect a little of all of that.
Nandina (heavenly bamboo) put on a real show for the season with their red berries, as do the holly trees (not pictured here).

I kept the outdoor decor very simple - swags on every other post outside of the fence front (you can see them in the very first photo in this post), and the two lighted snowflakes with yard flag in back.
Once again, I put a scarf on my book nerd in the garden.
These are two of  the four 'seasons' in the garden - Winter and Spring.  Summer and Fall are on the other side of the yard.  I put a striped footie sock on Spring (above) and Fall (on the other side). :)
 Another shot in the blue light of dusk.  And that concludes the 2013 tour.

Thanks for letting me share my collection of Christmas decor with you.  It's probably my favorite time of year, where memories of family are foremost in my mind, and the Advent season is a constant source of hope.

I'll be preparing for Christmas Eve between now and the 24th, when we'll be hosting all in-town family for a buffet dinner and simple gift exchange.  There's still some decor involved - getting welcome lights for parking and the indoor stairway assembled - along with pressing linens, grocery shopping, baking, cooking, and organizing all the serving pieces.  And I do need to get a present or two or three wrapped and under the tree!

Here's to all of us warriors united in a common theme this busy season - trying to make new family memories, no matter what our circumstances.  Have fun and stay safe, my friends!

Sharing with:
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